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ARTICLE UnitedHealth Group Takes Action to Support People on Eastern Seaboard Affected by Hurricane Sandy


MINNETONKA, Minn. (Oct. 29, 2012) – UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) and its benefits and services businesses, UnitedHealthcare and Optum, are taking immediate action to help people in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Washington, D. C., Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts affected by Hurricane Sandy. This includes assisting health plan participants who may need access to care or early refills of prescription medications; a free emotional-support line; and supporting the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which is helping people in the affected communities.

Access to Care

Plan participants who have been displaced from their homes or whose network medical facility or physician is not accessible, and require assistance or special accommodations, can call customer care at the number located on the back of their medical ID card for assistance. If necessary, customer care professionals will help affected individuals obtain in-network benefits if a network provider is not available. If a UnitedHealthcare plan participant does not have their medical ID card, they can call 866-633-2446, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (in the local time zone), Monday through Friday.

This includes plan participants enrolled in all fully insured commercial products, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement plans and Medicaid plans. This policy is effective from Oct. 28, 2012, and will remain active until at least Nov. 11, 2012.

UnitedHealthcare encourages members who are dependent on home-based medical equipment, such as dialysis machines or ventilators, to review their individual emergency plan and be prepared to make alternative arrangements, in the event those services are disrupted.

Early Prescription Refills

People who have been displaced or do not have access to their medications will be able to have prescriptions refilled early. Members obtaining a refill are asked to alert the pharmacist that they were affected by the hurricane in order to ensure the early prescription refill request is processed appropriately.

This includes plan participants enrolled in all fully insured commercial products, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Part D offerings or Medicaid plans (as applicable) insured through UnitedHealthcare. For mail-order delivery service to affected areas or any other questions related to their prescriptions, people are encouraged to call the pharmacy number on the back of their medical or prescription ID card, or speak directly to their pharmacist about their situation in order to get an early refill, if necessary.

This policy is effective from Oct. 28, 2012, and will remain active until at least Nov. 11, 2012.

Free Help Line

Optum, a leading health and behavioral health services company, is offering a free emotional-support help line.

The toll-free number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge and open to anyone. Specially trained Optum mental health specialists help people manage their stress and anxiety so they can continue to address their everyday needs. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.

Along with the toll-free help line, emotional support resources and information are available online at liveandworkwell.com.

Support for the American Red Cross

Through a $500,000 annual commitment, UnitedHealth Group participates in the Annual Disaster Giving Program of the American Red Cross, which is offering shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to people in the affected communities.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization – not a government agency – and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or view our blog.

About UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two business platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. Through its businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide.